When entering Fort Nugent Park DGC you are overwhelmed with the amount of things to do for the outdoor adventurist. Whether it be basketball, football, baseball, disc golf, or the most amazing playground ever built for kids, there is enough there to make an entire day of it for you and/or the family. Located in the heart of Oak Harbor, this course is about 40-45 minutes from the Mukilteo/Whidbey Island Ferry and is easy to locate. Fort Nugent Park DGC is surrounded by beautiful towering Pines and other native foliage which make it relaxing and a lot of fun to play.
The course layout for the most part was well thought out for being such a new course, and well mixed including several tight wooded holes (#'s 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, and 12) and several open (#'s 1, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18). With the exception of hole two, all give you a chance for birdie once you know the layout well enough and even a few shots at an ace (#'s 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 16). A lot of time I found myself trying to go for the ace and overshooting the basket therefore I had to make some long putts to keep my birdie or par. However, I did like how most of the pins were heavily guarded which made it that more difficult.
The DISCatcher baskets were in excellent condition and were so new that the foam wrapping was still on parts of them which was cool because it felt like I was the only one playing the course. Tee pads were all cement and were plenty long to get a big run-up when needed (necessary for only holes 10 and 18, both par 4's). The signs were top notch as well, showing both distance and pin placement, and were in full color about 4 feet off the ground making the next tee easy to spot. Another thing that made the course easy to navigate was the signs letting players know where the next tee was located (great for first time players).
For being brand new I tried to take it easy on the course because I know that in order for things to be perfect it takes time, patience, and a lot of work.
That being said, there was definitely some things that could be improved. As Ninja-Don stated in his thorough review, trash cans and benches are a must, especially on those busy days when there are several people playing the course (although there was little to no trash in view when I played).
Cleaning up the fairways is a must as well. Holes 2-9 had a lot of foliage on both sides of the tight fairways so if your accuracy is off or you get a bad deflection off a tree you will be spending some time searching for your disc. Although I didn't think #'s 3-9 were that bad (as long as you have a spotter) hole two was ridiculous. The fact it was 320 was not the problem but rather that the fairway was 15 feet wide and had unbelievable amounts of bushes on either side. My first two shots were in the bushes and without my wife, I would have never found my disc. My third shot was from about 40 feet out and with a huge anhyzer I pulled off an amazing par shot.
I could also see some issues with hole 10 being that you must throw a huge anhyzer/ sidearm 400+ feet past a ball field so if you don't have distance and/or control, or are a novice/amateur you could find yourself in the middle of some kids playing baseball which would be embarrassing.
Overall, I was very impressed with Fort Nugent Park DGC. It seemed like it was a great little course to learn the basics on. There was plenty of room on the ball fields to practice form and distance on and quality pads/baskets to work on the basic fundamentals of teeing off and putting. The course gave players a chance to experience some of the elements that make disc golf so much fun including water, elevation, wind, woods, and at times distance.
Playing this course once I was able to score 8 under and know if I have a chance to play it again and try to not go for it so often I would be able to go double digits under par. With the course being so new, like a fine wine, it will get better with age.
However, I can't imagine it ever being better then 3 stars due to how short the course is ( 8 holes =/< 200, 4 holes < 300, 4 holes < 400, and 2 holes >400) unless they end up purchasing the land behind the course which would most likely raise my score up to 3.5+ stars.
There is a lot of potential not only for this course but for Whidbey Island as a whole. I would love to see more expansion, adding some courses further south towards the Mukilteo/Whidbey Island Ferry for those who come from the south.
My hats off to all those who helped to get this course in the ground and I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.